Jewish Schools Throughout the United States are Likely to Receive an Over-Haul, Tzvi Odzer Explains
The COVID-19 pandemic caused schools across the United States to close in March. Many never opened back up to complete the school year. Now, as Jewish schools talk about going back, changes are expected. Tzvi Odzer, an entrepreneur, and man of Jewish faith discusses what the post-pandemic school situation is going to look like.
The Jewish schools are slightly different from public schools in that they provide a secular education as well as one that offers a Jewish education, including lessons in Hebrew. Tzvi Odzer explains how it’s important for children to go to these schools in order to balance their education. They get to meet friends within their faith and learn in an environment outside of the home.
Schools throughout New York, where Tzvi Odzer is based, are still slow to release plans for when they will be reopening. Both public and private schools are learning to adapt to the pandemic. Many Jewish schools plan on adapting to the social distancing requirements.
Tzvi Odzer has explained that there are thoughts of both teachers and students wearing masks. There may also be the need to temperature check students on a daily basis when they show up for class. While it’s not “normal,” Tzvi Odzer wonders if the school systems will ever fully return to normal because of the way the pandemic has caused people to re-think germs.
While Tzvi Odzer wants his children and grandchildren to be safe, he also believes in the importance of a traditional school setting. It allows children to socialize and learn to collaborate. As someone who has spent 30 years in distribution, he understands the importance of learning to work with others.
Tzvi Odzer is eager to see the Jewish school’s resume so that his own family can resume their studies. Particularly as kids start to reach the age of 13 where they will have a bar or bat mitzvah, attending Jewish school is critical. It will teach them how to read Hebrew in order to make sense of the readings from the Torah.
It is possible that at least some elements of Jewish school will be done virtually. This can help to eliminate the strain put into the schools. It can reduce the time kids are being exposed to one another. Further, it may reduce the number of days they go into class.
Tzvi Odzer has been keeping a close eye on the decisions made within his community. He’s hoping to hear that Jewish schools open at the normally scheduled time for the start of the school year. However, he’s also expecting there to be some modifications in terms of how to deal with the pandemic so as not to watch the curve go back up. He urges others who are sending students to a Jewish school to follow their local guidelines as well.